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The International Marketeer – The Expected Qualities

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So, World Cup Cricket will be bringing over 100,000 visitors to the Caribbean to witness what will be the largest event of its kind ever held in the region. What will they be expecting to see? Will it be the product – white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and tasty cuisine? Or will it be the brand – a tourism mecca, an adventurer’s paradise, or a retreat for the elite?{{more}}

And what kind of person will be marketing these goodies to our international audience? Even if the World comes to our door, crying out for our island-produced goods and services with cash in hand, ready to make purchases, there are still risks involved. A producer now has to manage the market. The same techniques and personnel that were used in the domestic market may be only partially suited for the foreign consumer.

What is needed is a human global sponge. Someone who is not intimidated by the diversity of languages, cultures and mentalities that may be alien to the local lifestyle. Below are some personality traits to search for, so these globally-conscious island pearls can be revealed:

EDUCATED

Employees should approach candidates with a clear idea of the level of training required to fill the position. This level of training may not be available locally. Seek out employees with the highest level of education available to meet the needs of the project. Prior to the necessary training level being in place, hire those who are trainable.

AMBITIOUS

Staff must aspire to promotion in order for the training to be effective and the operation viable. The Caribbean culture may not be entrepreneurial by nature. This cultural lack of aspirations must be circumvented by choosing the most ambitious candidates available.

CONFIDENT

Marketing requires faith in the product, the distribution channel, the customer, and the company. One of the early complaints for failed marketing projects was not a lack of education or ambition but the lack of employees confident in their own abilities. Unconfident employees require greater supervision, work more slowly, and are prone to more productivity errors. Companies must make every effort to raise self-confidence when it isn’t really present, and preserve it when it is.

FLEXIBLE

If an employee can only work within a narrow job description, the company can’t use that employee’s services. However, it is incumbent on companies not to abuse this flexibility. Cross training and job enrichment are standard ways for companies to increase the flexibility of their workforce.

EAGER

Unlike ambition, eagerness is an employee attribute that will impact directly on the consumer. Pride in one’s work and a desire to do it the right way every time can’t help but produce the best possible product. Eagerness to please the customer should start with the company’s base of operations and move through the entire organization.

CONNECTED

Employees can be a company’s most important link to the community. Beyond their value to public relations, the connections they have culturally can supply a company with the much-needed inroads into the native qualities that international visitors travel to experience.

LOYAL

All employees need to exhibit a degree of company loyalty. Of course, loyalty is a two-way street and companies can ask for no more than they are willing to give themselves. Technologies and information must be secure for the new marketing effort to succeed. Therefore, employees shouldn’t receive the implicit trust of their employer until their loyalty can be confirmed.

Additionally, here are some recruiting criteria that will help to pick out suitable candidates:

* Seek out candidates with some direct experience in the target markets. That experience should be as recent as possible; experience more than five years old may be of little value.

* Give priority to candidates who can call on numbers of useful and powerful connections in the target markets, in both the business and political communities.

* If the target markets use different languages, perfect fluency may not be mandatory. But if a candidate is not at least “conversational” or not afraid to make an attempt, it means that their target market effectiveness will be limited.

* Consideration should be given to candidates who have worked in fields related to the marketed product, especially if the product is highly technical in nature. This isn’t mandatory, but it is preferred.

* Marketing specialists need to be skilled in all forms of modern communication and research. Computer application skills must be of the first order. Don’t be afraid to hire young; the youth attain a quicker grasp on manipulating new technology.

As mentioned in a previous Brand View article, it is important that companies and their marketing agents learn at least a few phrases in the language of the target markets, even during the research phase. Showing even a mild interest in a language can open doors, and conversations meant to aid your pronunciation can bring much greater insights.

• Roland Nicholas is the Product Development Specialist of Brand Coral, LLC, a brand management consultancy registered in Atlanta, Georgia USA. Vincentian-born, Roland has over10 years of education and experience in brand communications, product engineering and production efficiency. Roland is currently on assignment in Barbados. Inquiries are welcomed at www.brandcoral.com.

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